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British BP Backlash Continues

June 11, 2010 - 10:12 AM | by: Greg Palkot

LONDON – Anti-US, anti-Obama rage here in the UK ratcheted up a few more notches today as British politicians and pundits continue to express their upset with what they say is Washington’s “demonizing” of BP in the wake of the massive Gulf oil spill.

“Obama is Killing all our Pensions,” the Daily Express declared on its front page, referring to attempts by the White House to get BP to cancel its dividend pay-out to ensure payments.

“Stand Up for your Country Mr. Cameron,” is the Daily Mail’s call to the UK Prime Minister to tell Obama to back off in a planned phone call Saturday.

Cartoonists are also having a field day.  The Daily Telegraph shows an angry Obama kicking the, um, “backside” of Britannia, the female personification of Great Britain.

And on the eve of the US vs. UK World Cup soccer match, The Times shows soccer player Obama “booting” a ball that is a BP logo (his uniform indicates he’s sponsored or “driven” by  “Mid Term Elections Inc.”).

Anti-US feelings haven’t been running this high in the UK since the height of the unpopular Iraq war.

Other pundits go further.   Spectator magazine editor Fraser Nelson told Fox News that relations between the two countries “haven’t been this bad since 1776.”

That might be stretching the point but when this reporter was discovered to be an American at a recent gathering of Londoners we got an ear full and then some about US BP policy!

Economists tell Fox News, aside from what is considered pretty jingoistic if not xenophobic language from the US, the feeling here is that there is no “cap” on possible punitive damages the US could seek from BP.

“You get the feeling that they are utterly ready to throw the entire kitchen sink at BP,” oil analyst Nick McGregor told us.

And energy analyst Malcolm Graham-Wood admitted there are a number of “…significant concerns out there.”

Despite reassurances from Washington that the Obama administration is not set to destroy BP, analysts here are girding for more trouble next week, when the BP Chairman Svanberg goes to the White House and Chief Executive Hayward goes before Congress.

There could be more “kicking around” for BP…and the UK…to come.

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